OUR FOUNDERS

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Get Konnected! is a social impact venture founded by Colette Phillips, President and CEO of Colette Phillips Communications Inc. Get Konnected! is Boston’s premier inclusive business networking event that brings together urban and international professionals, business and civic leaders from all cultures, industries and sectors. The mission of Get Konnected! is to curate meaningful business and social connections, enrich professional development, facilitate business and career opportunities, and forge positive cross-cultural relationships.

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Michael Benezra

Vice President and Co - Founder

The GK Fund

  • COO at Colette Phillips Communications

  • COO at Get Konnected!

  • Fmr. Director of Economic Affairs at Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Fmr. Legislative Affairs for Governor Deval Patrick 

  • Fmr. Research Director at Harvard Law School Project on Disability

Michael serves as the COO of Get Konnected! and Colette Phillips Communications. He previously worked on diplomatic affairs as the Director of Economic Affairs for the Israeli Foreign Ministry to New England, where he raised millions in capital and venture funding for Israeli social impact. He also worked on economic policy for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Governor Deval Patrick, Governor Christine Gregoire and in the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations. In 2012 he served as the Director of Research for the Harvard Law School Project on Disability. He holds a BA from the University of Washington and Masters degree from Harvard University.

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Colette Phillips

President and Co - Founder

The GK Fund  

  • President and CEO of Colette Phillips Communications 

  • President and Founder of Get Konnected!

  • Named by Boston Magazine 100 Most Powerful People 

  • Trustee at Mass General Hospital

  • Board of Directors at AJC, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and Eastern Bank 

Colette is the President and CEO of Colette Phillips Communications and Founder of Get Konnected! She is an expert in strategy and transformation who is frequently consulted by corporations and Fortune 500 companies helping to establish healthy, inclusive working environments. She has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Boston Business Journal and was named to Boston Magazine's 100 Most Powerful People. She serves as a trustee to Massachusetts General Hospital and serves on the Board of Directors of the American Jewish Committee, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and Eastern Bank. She holds a BS and MS from Emerson College and a Honorary Doctorate from Mount Ida College. In November of 2020, Colette Phillips Communications was awarded the largest non-construction contract ever awarded to a minority owned firm by the City of Boston. 

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Board Clerk and Co - Founder 

Andre Porter 

  • Fmr. Executive Director of the Office of Small Business and Entreprenuership for Commonwealth of Massachusetts

  • Fmr. Deputy Director of Economic Development for City of Boston

  • Counseled and led statewide small mentoring efforts for hundreds of small business enterprises

Andre served as the Deputy Director of the City of Boston's Office of Business Development and former Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship from 2008-2015 serving under Governor Deval Patrick. Andre provides strategic planning and financing to small businesses transitioning from startup to growth stage. He has counseled hundreds of startups and small businesses over the span of three decades across Massachusetts and Rhode Island. His real estate management consultancy assists property owners and developers with services ranging from municipal approvals to project financing. Andre recieved his Bachelors and Masters from Tufts University. 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Priscilla Douglas

Chair, Board of Trustees

Boston Public Library

  • Published Author

  • Fmr. Massachusetts Secretary for Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation

  • Fmr. Special Assistant to the Director of the FBI

  • Fmr. Massachusetts Assistant Secretary for Public Safety

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Sean Curran

Principal 

Waterville Consulting

  • Chair of the Board of Directors for College Bound Dorchester 

  • Fmr. Chair of the Deval Patrick Committee

  • Fmr. Liaison for Massachusetts to the White House Office of Public Engagement

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Anuradha Yadav

Executive Director and Co - Founder

Startup Mentors

  • Fmr. Interim Director of the Fairmount Innovation Lab

  • Fmr. Executive Director of TiE Boston

  • Corporate Attorney for State Street Bank and Trust Company

  • Trustee Emeriti at the University of Vermont 

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Saskia Epstein

VP of Client and Community Relations

PNC Bank

  • Co-Founder and Fmr. CEO of Power Launch Philanthropy

  • Trustee at The Foundation to be Named Later under the Boston Red Sox Foundation

  • Fmr. CEO and Executive Director of the national nonprofit, Room to Grow 

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Jay Gonzalez

Partner

Hinckley Allen

  • Fmr. Democratic Nominee for Governor of Massachusetts

  • Fmr. Massachusetts Secretary of Administration and Finance

  • Fmr. CEO of CeltiCare Health Plan of Massachusetts

Hon. Evelyn Murphy

Fmr. Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts

  • The first female ever elected to serve as Lt. Governor of Massachusetts 

  • Founder and President of The WAGE Project

  • Fmr. Massachusetts Secretary of Economic Affairs

  • Fmr. Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs

  • Received Ph.D. in Economics from Duke University 

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Herby Duverne

CEO and Principal

Windwalker Group

  • Founding Member of the New Commonwealth Fund

  • President and CEO of ProAssess

  • Fmr. Director Emergency Management at MassPort

  • Board of Directors at Black Economic Council of Massachusetts and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

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C.A. Webb

Executive Director

Kendall Square Association

  • Fmr. President of the New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA)

  • Co - Founder of Underscore VC

  • Fmr. Director of Marketing for Care.com

  • Board of Directors for Alliance for Business Leadership and MassRobotics

 

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Rick Musiol Jr.

VP of External Affairs 

New England Aquarium

  • Fmr. Vice President and Regional Director for Public Affairs at Citizens Bank 

  • Fmr. Chief of Staff to President of the Massachusetts State Senate

  • Adj. Professor at Emerson College

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Jeff Rosica

CEO and President

Avid Technologies

  • Oversees Avid Technologies (NYSE: AVID) a publicly traded technology company with over 1300 employees across North America

  • Fmr. VP and GM of Phillips Electronics North America 

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Geoffrey Caraboolad

President and CEO 

Metric Construction 

  • A carpenter by trade and a perfectionist by nature, Geoff is actively engaged with each project; weekly updates keep him apprised of the status, giving him the opportunity to offer his expertise so projects stay on track.

  • Clients quickly find that Metric is committed to their goals, acting as a partner, not just a contractor.

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Susan Portin

SVP of Business  and Legal Affairs

Heartland Water Technologies

 

  • Fmr. Corporate Legal Counsel to Campbell Soup Company

  • Fmr. Strategic Risk Compliance at PWC

  • Founder and President at IMPACT Management Solutions

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Raj Sharma

Private Wealth Advisor and Founder 

The Sharma Group | Merrrill Lynch

  • Named to America's Top Wealth Advisors 17 years in a row

  • Awarded Massachusetts Top #1 Financial Advisor by Barrons

  • Named to America's Top Wealth Advisors List by Forbes